Emily Dickinson Because I Could Not Stop For Death Analysis

Improved Essays
Emily Dickinson is one of the most famous American poets, well known for her strange use of punctuation, the widespread assumption that she had agoraphobia, and her poems about death and immortality. Her fear of going outside combined with the countless number of deceased she faced in her own life contributed to her poetry significantly. Her poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, however, takes on a different facade and forces readers to think more appreciatively on the topic. In the poem, the speaker is taken on a ride by a gentlemanly suitor, Death, and visits her past until finally reaching her ultimate demise. Although she faced many deaths of family and friends throughout her own life, Emily Dickinson shines a pleasant light on death …show more content…
Emily Dickinson did live fifteen years next to a cemetery, after all, as the Emily Dickinson Museum points out in their online article. Perhaps this article should be viewed more gothically considering how many deaths Dickinson did mourn throughout her life, and some of her other poems are more grotesque on the topic of the afterlife, but the dates are wrong, as Huff points out. He writes that “The immortality… is not the lasting literary fame of the author; the dates are wrong…” “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” was written in 1862. Dickinson didn’t really face a lot of close deaths until after this date. Her beloved nephew Gilbert died at the age of eight in 1883, and this was a severe blow to Dickinson, and her sister even noticed (Leiter). Her lover Judge Otis Phillips died of a stroke in March 1884, her mother in November 1882, her father in 1874, and her close friend Eliza in 1871 (Leiter). All of these deaths followed the writing of “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” Emily Dickinson was not a old woman when she wrote the poem, and was most likely less afraid of death herself because she was young, and death wasn’t going to come to her for another twenty years, and that’s most likely why the poem isn’t as ghastly as some of her other works. The Emily Dickinson Museum also says that while some of her letters and poems were a bit morbid, it was not uncommon for …show more content…
She also comes to surmise that the horses driving the carriage were really taking her to eternity, indicating that Dickinson wanted to show that death was forever, but it was pleasant enough that the speaker didn’t notice time passing. The speaker also managed to remain content throughout the whole ordeal. Huff agrees, writing that “he personality (the most important aspect of her individuality) has been kept intact.” He mentions that she even remains intellectually stimulated in her guessing that the horses’ heads were turned toward

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Kate Chopin was an influential, controversial, and brilliant writer that in this modern day has relatively been forgotten. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1851 to French-Creole descendant Eliza Faris and Irish immigrant Thomas O’Flaherty. It was during her early childhood that she gained her inspiration for writing from her great-grandmother Victoria Verdon Charleville. Chopin also experienced a lot of death during her childhood, her great-grandmother and half brother dying when she was eleven and her father dying after that. Graduating from Academy of the Sacred Heart in 1968 she then took two years to be single, travel and experience the world.…

    • 1304 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Annie fell ill sometime before her tenth birthday. Her sister Henrietta kept a diary and according to that, the family took a trip to Ramsgate in October of 1850 because of Annie’s poor health. She also recalled that on March 24, 1851, Darwin took Annie to Malvern to receive a water cure treatment by Dr. James Gully; which did not work. Finally, Darwin left Annie in the care of her nurse and the family governess. On April 23, 1851, Darwin recorded an entry in his journal which said, “23 April our dear child expired.” There’s no question that Annie’s death caused a great distress to her parents.…

    • 1443 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    “[Dickinson never did devote her true identity to her work] until her late twenties, [which was] about 1858” (Roberts et al, pg. 803). With this in mind, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” was written in 1863. Her poems were written specifically on topics such as death, dying, or state of solitude, which were invigorating to her…

    • 1516 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The years after his marriage Poe had wrote many short stories such as The Raven and other poems. Edgar’s happy ending that he expected came crashing down when his wife Virginia died in 1847 (“Edgar Allan Poe” Poetry Foundation). It’s been said Poe had mourned the loss of his wife and did not write for four months. He then encountered his first love Elmira and re-married with her. After his new marriage Poe had gone missing for five days only to be found on October 3, 1849 mentally unstable in Baltimore (“Edgar Allan Poe” Poetry Foundation).…

    • 1359 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Nathan’s 17-year-old daughter struck him and he eventually married her after a 7-year courtship, during which she repeatedly turned down his offers of marriage before hereafter agreeing . By 1854, Longfellow was ready to be done with teaching so to support his family, he started writing full time. He also wrote the sonnet “The Evening Star” dedicated to his lovely wife Frances A. Longfellow. However, sorrow once again struck his family in the form of Fanny’s death after her dress caught fire on July 9th, 1861. Henry and Frances Longfellow had been married for 18 years and had had six children together and Longfellow seemed to feel her death greatly as he didn’t write for quite a while after her death.…

    • 553 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Dickinson's Death

    • 1469 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”: Marry to the Death Death is the eternal theme of a poem which is the coexistence of love. It is the outcome of the life that everybody can 't get rid of. People the "death" to give the imagination, all kinds of stories about ghosts and legends is also due to the fear of dead, and most of the poems of the description of "death" is the awful fear and ghastly, but Emily Dickinson is different. Dickinson is the United States in nineteenth Century, the famous female poet, to express the outstanding views of death. Her "Because I could not stop for Death", the poet describe a from life to death of travel, launched a flow picture of life and death of philosophy and poetry images…

    • 1469 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    There are others who are positive and cheerful about death because they believe in life after it. In the poem by Emily Dickinson called Because I could not stop for Death, the narrator is in a carriage with the personification of death and immortality as they are on their way to her tomb. It is described how the relator is on her way to die and instead of being frightened about it, she is enjoying the process. People who understand…

    • 1102 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Actually, I never had this feeling before, thus I do not know exactly what she feels. However, the more I get older, the more I feel stress. Dickinson is the people who isolated with every people accepted her family and her poetry was founded by her sister after her death so she invented poetry to describe her mind, her feelings. Besides that, I like the ending of this poem. If this poem is a light, so the ending of this poem makes me feel like the light gets darker and darker from the beginning to the ending.…

    • 563 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Emily Dickinson is widely known for her morbid poems of death, loss and pain. Even though Emily Dickinson was not widely known in her time, she is now known all over the world as one of the greatest American poets. “From the time when Emily Dickinson first began to write poetry until her last fading pencil marks on tattered bits of paper, the mystery of death absorbed her” (Heaven Beguiles The Tired). Several of Emily’s poems assures readers everywhere her infatuation with death and the afterlife. Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts and grew up in a well-rounded, Puritan household.…

    • 1770 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “I first surmised the Horses’ Heads, Were toward Eternity-“. The last 2 lines determine us a certain direction therefore we can definitely assume that Eternity is a place. But after all there is a tension since there are the horses, Eternity and they are still riding. In conclusion, “Because I could not stop for Death” is one of the most remarkable poems of Emily Dickinson. She could express to reader that Death can be “great” and inevitable.…

    • 287 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays